This past Sunday, Tom Dwan published a few of his thoughts on Twitter which didn’t exactly reassure Full Tilt poker players. The Full Tilt sponsored poker star, in a series of tweets, said the following:
“Lotsa ppl pming me n messaging on twitter w/o having read up on what I said. If worst case happens I’ll pay in a fair way, and that won’t Involve paying individuals jus b/c they messaged me a lot. Timeline was late 2012 I think (or anytime I’m >90%ish of ftp not paying out) That said let’s hope everything gets resolved n I can keep my $$s to spend on some goofy stuff that I’ll thinkup later.”
Dwan was referring to a guarantee he made after Black Friday, where he stated that he would “guarantee $1M in payouts from FTP/Stars. If they somehow don’t pay, I’ll figure out a fair way to disperse it, and send out all the gelt over Hanukah 2012.” Headlines have been rife with speculation on the future of Full Tilt, but to this day, little is certain.
Full Tilt’s situation was further complicated today. The Full Tilt legal team interrupted the Alderney Gambling Control Commission hearings which began today, asking that the proceedings be put behind closed doors without access by the press. One of Full Tilt’s legal representatives, Martin Heslop, said, “It is not in the interest of justice that this should be aired in public. There is a real risk that it may be detrimental to these interests and highly prejudicial to this decision.” Heslop cited “highly commercially sensitive information” which will be discussed in the hearings which would result i a “highly damaging effect” if done publicly.
The Alrney Gambling Control Commission (AGCC) denied the request, and continued with the hearings. The AGCC recently took away Full Tilt’s gambling license. In response to the AGCC’s denial of a private hearing, the Full Tilt team engaged in a stalemate, refusing to cooperate with the proceedings. AGCC officials finally agreed to ask press to exit the hearing room, where private discussions then began in earnest.
Full Tilt’s actions during these hearings, and Dwan’s cryptics tweets, do not indicate a strong bargaining position for the poker site, or a successful outcome. However at this point, speculation is the only certainty to be had.
Since Full Tilt crypto gambling had its gaming license revoked by the Alderney Gambling Control Commission (AGCC), there has been one clear winner: PokerStars. Upon losing its license, Full Tilt was immediately closed, only adding to the crippling effects of Black Friday. But PokerStars, who has proven themselves to be perhaps the most reliable site on the market, has been there to pick up the pieces.
Full Tilt housed roughly 7,000 cash game and 6,000 tournament players, all now without a home. Within three days of the shut down, 41% of the players had already showed up on other sites, with 59% inactive. It turns out that 27% of the active players moved to PokerStars, and have stayed there. For years, the online poker world has been seen as dominated by just two camps. And when one of those camps collapsed, it was nothing but easy work for PokerStars to play clean up.
Full Tilt’s future remains uncertain. Days before losing their license, an unnamed group of European investors was reported to have reached a $150 million buy-out deal to save Full Tilt. However, since the license was lost, information on the status of Full Tilt and any possible deal remains ambiguous at best.
But while Full Tilt hangs in the lurch, you can always get in on some real action: ESPN is currently live streaming the World Series of Poker Main Event, for the first time in WSOP history. You can find live coverage today through Wednesday, July 20 on ESPN3, ESPN2, and ESPN.